I simplify it to something you can wield in many occasions.
Use it when you want to identify what is actually discussed, to verify what one understands and means to say, and when you want to make people discover that they only think they know but they know almost nothing. You would use it with caution, when adequate, not like an apprentice sorcerer.
To imitate Socrates, you start with making ignorance conscious, you bring out into the open – tactfully - that which we do not know; then, the door is unlocked to think critically and to learn.
Without finding out that they do not know, people are sufficient, like cups full to the brim, incapable to absorb something different or new. You must help empty some of their their cup and make them feel that they "know nothing" [**]
Then, like Socrates you will make learn, not from received wisdom, but by advancing from one puzzlement to the next, knowing more and more of what you do not know; not from certainty to more certainty but from question to question.
One of the killers of good judgment and of conversation is the supposition that "we know" and that the words mean the same thing for all of us; the best way to misunderstanding is to ask the inept question: "Did you understand?" and to take the empty answer: "Yes." for a proof of success.
Meaning-full communication is to ask: "What did you understand?" or "How would you define or explain this? What do you think about ...?" or some similar polite version (like "Please tell me more" or "Please explain") for finding out what was meant and understood.
For this reason, reject the convention that everybody knows, “of course we all know the subject” and propose, with or without irony that you personally don’t know, that in fact you feel totally ignorant and want to be explained.
Then, ask the Socratic Quid question  “What is it?” Persist politely; repeat the question if needed, to have clarified what it is and what it is not, what is different from other things. Do not accept the replacement of definition of that which is essential with mere obvious examples. Amazingly, most people, including experts, prove unable to give a true definition of things they profess or practice every day, as the superficial understanding is obscured with plenty of words, details and received opinions. It is hard to pin down the nature of things. In fact the simplest and self-evident looking notions we use every day, are the most difficult to define.
The second face of the Socratic method which I retain, is not in this or that question but in the questioning; it is not the trees, it is the forest.
Socrates gives himself the unrestricted licence to ask questions. He felt that to be free you must know yourself and own the words you use; that unexamined life is not worth living . Without this attitude you cannot imitate him.
Socrates assumed that all the knowledge was already there , in the person, sleeping or gestating; the task of the master is, accordingly, the art of the midwife, to help people's own understanding to be born.
After that first step which was to make people understand that they did not understand (or too little) of things they believe to know well, this maïeutic, paradoxically, demonstrates the contrary - that we know more that we think we know. Moreover, it makes us feel that we are not blank slates to be written on by other people, but instead we have the means to think with our own head.
With this purpose of midwifery, after asking "What it is? » Socrates leads the person, question after question, towards discovering truth.
I would - unlike Socrates - add that after finding out what one believes and understands, where one's mind is, (and only then) you can actually proceed to teach, educate and change the direction of a mind.
The deepest face of the "Method of Socrates" as I see it, the gift from him, is the handing over of the method itself, helping one in learning how to learn; Socrates teaches an attitude to knowledge, a way to examine everything, his magic pointing finger. An old Chinese story  illustrated best what I desire from Socrates:
An immortal hovering along a deserted road met a miserable half-starved beggar. In pity, the benevolent ghost touched a pebble with his finger and miraculously, the stone turned to gold. But the beggar did not look content.
Amazed, the spirit chose a bigger stone, laid his finger on it and Lo! it became gold too. The mendicant was still not satisfied.
Puzzled, the celestial being tapped a big rock into gold; the beggar was still visibly discontent. Exasperated, the immortal asked:
"What more do you want?"
The method of Socrates is what he does.
* The philosophers, expert in the study of Socratic thought teach something else, much more abstract, which I am not entitled to deny. Theirs may be the true Socrates who was; I only care for one tool from the ages-improved heritage as it trickles down to us, possibly legend, but a legend of value to my life and skill.
[**] "I thought to myself, " I am wiser than this man ; for neither of us really knows anything fine and good, but this man thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas I, as I do not know anything, do not think I do either. I seem, then, in just this little thing to be wiser than this man at any rate, that what I do not know I do not think I know either."" Plato, Apology, in Plato I, Loeb CL, Harvard UP, Cambridge.., p.83 (Tr. Fowler)
 Plato, Meno (Tr. Guthrie) 71b, Bollingen ed., Princeton, 1989, p. 354: “..how can I know a property of something when I don’t even know what it is?”
 Plato, Apology, 38a
 Plato's Socrates seems to believe that knowledge comes from a divine realm of pure ideas and that it is pre-existent in man. I do not believe this, but there is always some pre-existent knowledge; I experienced many times the common-sense fact that when you meet real-life persons be it children or, even more, adults, they do contain rich previous experience and lore which must be considered and put to work. You cannot erase that reality and replace it with your teaching; you must build on it.
 Fung Yu-lan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy, Macmillan, NY, 1960, p. 330